Six impossible things

Posts Tagged structure

Stringing beads

Writers use a variety of different metaphors to describe how they think about plot and structure. One that I’ve seen used quite a bit is “beads on a string” – that is, figuring out a plot is a process of lining up a series of beads/scenes in […]

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Proliferating viewpoints

Having lots of viewpoint characters is usually one major reason for a proliferation of subplots. Each viewpoint character is the protagonist of his/her own story, and that story inevitably has its own subplots. So if you normally find that your stories have two subplots, and your novel […]

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Storyboarding for novelists

Storyboarding is a structure analysis technique that comes out of the film industry, where it’s been used since the very early days to give writers, directors, and producers a sort of visual outline of a film. A true storyboard is a series of drawings, each of which […]

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If you do want to plan

So if you are going to do some pre-planning before you start writing your book, where do you begin and how do you do it? As usual, it depends on the writer and the story, but here are a few things to consider: First, why are you […]

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Advance planning

There are a lot of bits of advice floating around for would-be, wannabe, and newbie fiction writers who are having problems getting started. There are currently a plethora of how-to-write books advocating serious advance planning, ranging from detailed outlining systems, to starting with different sets of character […]

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Uses for Plot Shapes

So we come to why I have been thinking about plot shapes for the past week. It started with an article on the traditional triangle plot that mentioned in passing that there were other possibilities, but didn’t give them much consideration beyond that. Naturally, this got me […]

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Plot Shapes III: Beads on a String and spokes on a wheel

I’m sure all of you have been waiting for the e-book with baited breath. Wrede on Writing goes live tomorrow, December 4th. It’s the first time I’ve had THREE sets of galleys to look over (epub, mobi, and the pdf that they’re using for the hardcopy version). […]

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Plot shapes II: Circles and Spirals

The traditional plot shape I discussed last time is vaguely triangular; it starts at a beginning, tension rises as the protagonist faces and overcomes (or doesn’t) a series of obstacles, until things reach a peak at the climax or turning point; after that, it’s all downhill until […]

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Points and Turns

When I was in school, back in the Jurassic, I was taught the basic plot structure and its variations: beginning, rising action, climax or turning point, falling action. The chart that went along with it looked something like this: For years and years, I thought this was […]

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Different structures

The structure of a story is its bones – or rather, it’s the way those bones are presented to the reader, the way things are organized and the patterns they make. Like bones, there are large ones and tiny ones; chains of things that fit together to […]

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